But I want to Lord!
Thoughts to draw us closer to Jesus….
As the time drew near for him to ascend to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52 He sent messengers ahead to a Samaritan village to prepare for his arrival. 53 But the people of the village did not welcome Jesus because he was on his way to Jerusalem. 54 When James and John saw this, they said to Jesus, “Lord, should we call down fire from heaven to burn them up?” 55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them. 56 So they went on to another village. Luke 9:51-56 NLT
Mark well that it is a definite sign of an evil will that it will not brook opposition. Impatience is the fruit by which you can recognize a feigned, false, and cunning good will. A genuinely good will when thwarted will say, “O God, I regarded my plan as good. But if it is not to be, I am content. May your will be done.” Wherever there is dissension and impatience, there can be nothing that is good, no matter how good it may seem or want to be.
Lectio Divina leads to a personal relationship with God. The ancient monastic way of doing lectio does not mean reading a lot. It means reading the text until you feel the call of the Spirit either to reflect on a particular passage, sentence, or phrase, or to respond to the good things that you have read or heard. You may want to praise God, ask for something, or converse with God. Or you might feel like pouring out your heart to God. There is a movement from our concentrative practices to the receptive disposition that is essential for resting in God.
My heart is resonating with the disciples these days. Simply put, I see some people, I have been trying to figure out how to cope with some people rejecting the promises of God, and doing that in a way that doesn’t invite discussion. Heck – it is not even allowed. Rather any other view is mocked and dismissed.
And part of me says “walk away.” Just let the lightening bolts be unleashed, and let ashes left over be blown away.
Like I said, I tend to resonate with them, and not so much with Luther, whose words I didn’t take as rebuking those I am struggling with, but rather, rebuked me. You see, I am not so ready to agree on what I see as critical issues, either. I need to learn to make what Luther advocates my own – willing to accept what is done, what God for some reason allows, to be done.
My impatience, my dissension needs to tempered, and while I do what I can do, I also need to live with what doesn’t go my way.
The only way to find that peace, which I need to have prior to engaging, is from resting in God. The goal for Keating, supplied in Lectio Divina, the kind of peace and rest found at the Altar, the kind of peace when I hear, not a pastor or priest, but the voice of God speaking through them, speaking through the words of God.
It is then, hearing God, that I rest… not that I find it, but that God reveals it…for in His presence, assured of His work, and His will, we find the moment to relax. We find peace…. we find we are loved.
And then, I can leace the situations in His hands… I can leave my dissatisfaction, my anger at injustice, my anger aside. Ironically, it is from that level of peace that I can make the greatest difference.
There is the challenge – to get to the altar before the fight… to get to the altar and the cross before rushing to judge and condemn. For in Christ’s presence, there is reconciliation. There is hope.
Luther, Martin. 1999. Luther’s Works, Vol. 42: Devotional Writings I. Edited by Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann. Vol. 42. Philadelphia: Fortress Press.
Keating, Thomas. 2009. The Daily Reader for Contemplative Living: Excerpts from the Works of Father Thomas Keating, O.C.S.O., Sacred Scripture, and Other Spiritual Writings. Edited by S. Stephanie Iachetta. New York; London; New Delhi; Sydney: Bloomsbury.